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I think my father is having an affair

(97 Posts)
nosirrah8778 Sat 04-Jul-15 14:51:09

Hi everyone! I'm new to mumsnet but have always valued the time and advice of the members who go out of their way to help. Here's my issue...

This morning, I received a text message from my father. As it was the weekend, I thought it would be the usual 'Do you want to come up for Sunday dinner tomorrow?'. Unfortunately, the text message wasn't meant for me and I can't bring myself to type out the contents, but it was along the lines of something I would imagine pornstars say to one another.

I felt sick and upset. Currently, my parents are not talking, and they're relationship has been on the rocks for many years. From as young as I can remember, they spend half the year happy and half the year at each others throats (and sometimes my father moves out, then comes back after seemingly 'sorting things out' with my mother). I know that both my parents are unhappy, but I never imagined any one of them would go and have an affair.

I rang my dad straight away and asked him about it. He denied any knowledge of the message and didn't know what I was on about. I forwarded it back to him, and he appeared disgusted by the content. What was worse was that the text-style of his response was consistent with the that of the dirty message (typos, accents on certain letters etc).

I asked him to come to my place for a chat as I felt upset and uncomfortable with the situation. I asked him over and over again whether he was having an affair, and he denied it each time. He even joked around (a slight smile and gave a light pally punch on my arm as if implying 'don't be silly'). He kept saying he will not admit to something that isn't true, with a serious face and looked me in the eyes. He admitted being unhappy in the marriage, but asked why I thought he would seek an affair after 30 years of being with my mother.

He later explained that he's been receiving strange text messages since replacing his phone, and that he's been in touch with the operator to get it stopped. His phone is PAYG so can't imagine that someone could hack into his phone to wrack up bills. Also, there's a difference between receiving and sending messages.

I don't know what to believe. Under any other circumstances I would have probably believed him, but unfortunately I have seen the message. I don't want my mother to be made a fool of, but my father is adamant he's not done anything. I don't know what to do for the best. There is no right or wrong answer, and I understand there will be repercussions no matter what I decide to do.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 14:57:51

He's lying to you.


AccordingToOurRecords Sat 04-Jul-15 15:14:08

Oh God I cannot begin to imagine what you are feeling OP. He is lying and what makes it worse is he is lying to cover up lies.

TealFanClub Sat 04-Jul-15 15:15:17

Lying. But fbh I'd leave him to it now.

Nolim Sat 04-Jul-15 15:19:10

Stay out of it

Bogeyface Sat 04-Jul-15 15:23:24

I had the exact same scenario, message sent to me in error by my dad.

He did eventually admit it, and has sworn that it is over. In his case it was emotional and not physical. Do I believe him? I dont know, but he swore he never had any intention of leaving my mum and it would destroy her to find out so I have to keep it a secret. sad

nosirrah8778 Sat 04-Jul-15 15:35:06

Thanks for relating Bogeyface. My concern is that it will look like I've betrayed my mother by keeping his dirty little secret if it later comes out that he IS having an affair.

jamaisdeux Sat 04-Jul-15 15:39:37

He is lying about something, but could it be that it is one of those sex chat things? Not an actual affair per se?

pocketsaviour Sat 04-Jul-15 15:41:43

It's pretty insulting that he thinks you would be taken in by such laughable lies.

Put yourself in your mum's shoes. Do you think she would want to know, or do you think she has deliberately closed her eyes and ears to keep the peace? Let that be your guide.

nosirrah8778 Sat 04-Jul-15 15:47:24

I'm not sure jamaisdeux ... do those things actually exist? I've heard about sex phone lines but not sex chats over text message. Although I wouldn't condole that behaviour, I'd probably feel a bit more at ease if that was the case.

nosirrah8778 Sat 04-Jul-15 15:50:17

I know my mother is unhappy pocketsaviour and I think the thought of packing the relationship in has crossed her mind many times. The issue is she feels she can't leave because of the house, his business, the family etc. You're probably right in saying that she's unhappy but staying with him and keeping the peace for an easy life.

jamaisdeux Sat 04-Jul-15 15:51:15

Yes, I am sure they exist (saw something that sounds like this on my brothers phone once and he definitely does not have a girlfriend and lives at home)

It's revolting but at least not actually an affair. I think then they phone you when you want them to. It's a possible explanation.

Sorry you are going through this.

GatoradeMeBitch Sat 04-Jul-15 16:05:53

But you're not keeping his secret, because you don't know if he has a secret. He hasn't confided anything to you.

He probably is having an affair, but who wants to admit 'Yes darling dd, I did accidentally send that filth to you, whoops!' I'm sure he wouldn't want you to see him that way, so I don't blame him for lying tbh. Just delete and try to forget it.

nosirrah8778 Sat 04-Jul-15 16:38:06

I guess so GatoradeMeBitch. It makes me feel ill at the thought of that type of language ever coming out of my father's mouth. And you're right - I have no definitive proof that he's having an affair, just a text message that he may or may not have sent. My gut tells me that he did send the message as there are too many similarities between his texting style and this message.

My mother just called and picked up on me being slightly off. I just said I was busy applying for jobs. I can't bare the thought of hurting any of them sad.

Thenapoleonofcrime Sat 04-Jul-15 20:18:24

I totally agree with everyone that you need to keep out of it, and I do keep out of my father's equally unfaithful business, but I do sympathise that you don't want to look like you are keeping anyone's secret.

It may have been a chat/text sex thing, it may have been meant for another woman.

If they split up regularly enough for him to be moving out then it's highly likely there have been other people over the years.

I would not say any more about it, our parents are adults with adult sex lives and possibly up to things we don't want to know about (your mum may know/suspect/have taken him back knowing, who knows?)

But that doesn't mean it's not horrible and that you wish you could wash the image from your mind.

mrstweefromtweesville Sat 04-Jul-15 20:51:49

I don't understand where adult children get the idea that they can demand to know about their adult parents' sex lives.

You were right to let him know you'd had the message. He'd been careless. You were totally out of order to demand he see you and to interrogate him on his behaviour. He's an adult, he doesn't have to ask your permission to have sex or other relationships with people.

The child-you was shocked by language. You'll live.

What would it do to your mother's life is she knew? Is he putting her at risk by having unprotected sex with both? Don't ask him. But if you think that's the case your mother might need to know. She won't thank you for telling her - not for several years at least.

Edenrose206 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:31:06

As the child of a repeat philanderer, who was a pathological sneak, I say "tell your mother." Sorry, other posters! But my father moved out, moved back in, finally admitted it when my mother couldn't find him in a crisis...She had to call his secretary to locate her own NSDH. My mother wishes she had known earlier and LTB years beforehand!!! Your dad is lying to your face. Punching your arm, all pallsy-wallsy?? Give me a break! His "slight smile" sounds like a "tell" in poker; players (and adulterers) often try to control their facial expressions but the truth "leaks" out. He got caught. He's embarrassed. If he can convince you you're wrong, he'll get to keep on with OW. Infidelity affects everyone in a family; lies affect everyone. You do NOT have to cover for him! flowers

Edenrose206 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:34:09

Oh and your mother may well thank you... Mine, sadly, did get unexplained STDs off her "dear" H before she found out.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 04-Jul-15 21:38:22

I agree with Eden. My mum feels she wasted years with my cheating dad. He made it your business when he sent you that text.

springydaffs Sat 04-Jul-15 22:06:49

Completely agree that OF COURSE you tell your mum!

And OF COURSE he's lying. What a skank (sorry)

TattieHowkerz Sat 04-Jul-15 22:52:16

I think you should leave it. Your mother likely knows. They aren't talking. They must have their own reasons for maintaining the relationship.

You were right to let your father know that he had done this, and how unpleasant and invasive it was, but that's it. You didn't have the right to question him in that way.

ItsNotAsPerfectAsItSeems Sat 04-Jul-15 22:59:58

All those posters saying leave it, what if it was the other way around?

OP, if your DH accidentally sent such a message to your mother, would you want and expect her to tell you? If the answer is yes then surely you owe her the same?

springydaffs Sat 04-Jul-15 23:12:30

How would she feel if it later came out he was cheating and you knew but didn't tell her. Double betrayal imo.

sleeponeday Sun 05-Jul-15 01:42:38

OP, if your DH accidentally sent such a message to your mother, would you want and expect her to tell you? If the answer is yes then surely you owe her the same?

But it isn't the same. DH has no relationship with mother except via marriage to her child - loyalties are clear. In addition, the mother has seen the relationship from inception and probably has a very good idea of what view her child has of it, what she expects and is willing to tolerate. A child is inevitably not going to be privy to half of that.

Best friends with both of a couple is closer - but even then, there's a different relationship with parents and child (and even then, you have to choose who you side with, and may well lose one).

OP I have no idea whether you should say anything. I will say that cheaters often have unhappy primary relationships because at a subliminal level the injured party knows something is very wrong. What I am trying to say is, don't assume he's cheating because they are unhappy. They may be unhappy because he cheats. He was certainly capable of looking his own child in the eye and lying, after all. sad

Aussiemum78 Sun 05-Jul-15 01:48:15

I would ask your mother why she doesn't divorce him after all the moving out and drama. Tell her she has your full support.

It sounds like they both want a divorce but are stuck in the "till death do us part" prison.

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